26 Apr 2021, 13:07 — 7 min read
India’s consumption has been displaying steady growth over the last two decades - capturing the imagination of investors across the world. The entry into the new decade was expected to demonstrate a continuation of this narrative. However, the advent of COVID-19 has slightly altered the course of this story. Even after a short bump in the graph in 2020, the consumption pattern as well as the retail market of the country is on pre-COVID growth track, the pandemic has introduced a delay of 1-2 years in the trajectory.
Retailers need to evaluate pivotal changes in their consumer value proposition and decide positioning options basis it.
Responsible Retail - Conscious play: Focus on mainstream sustainability, localised sourcing, fair trade and align with consumer values.
Alternate Retail – Non-traditional offerings: Focus on new business models, e.g subscriptions, renting of products, or solutions-based retailing.
Personal Retail - Individual is important: Focus on individual level personalisation, customisation of product/service.
Spectacular Retail – Experience led retail: Focus on retailtainment (entertainment, gamification, experiences and/or additional services) to engage and involve consumers in shopping experience.
Omnichannel Retail - Seamless Channels: Focus on creating uniform, smooth and integrated omnichannel experience across both instore and online channels.
Convenient Retail - Quick and Easy: Focus on ultra-convenience in in-store experience, delivery and/or online shopping journey; focus on reaching the customer through small stores in urban locations.
Value Retail – India Values Value: Focus on low pricing.
Also read: The Experience Project
It is equally imperative for retail organisations to design the operating model with chosen direction of proposition. They need to:
The pandemic has had a distinct impact on forces that shape the retail landscape
Retail brands are developing new strategies to ace the game across the world.
Adapting network: UK supermarket chain explored fluid formats to increase availability.
Leading US mobile brand transforming stores to offer seamless experience.
Defining pricing and promotion: Korean mobile brand drove sales by offering discounts through partnership.
Aligning offering: Leading US supermarket launched private labels for higher revenue.
Innovating purchase journeys: US food retailer offering safe journeys to grab market share.
Leading Indian Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) building omnichannel capabilities to ensure sales.
Ensuring supply chain agility: Italy supermarket chain leveraged partnership to ensure delivery.
Optimising customer acquisition cost: Chinese cosmetics company leveraged online platforms for customer acquisition.
In the long term, locally adapted operating model decisions will be key to market leadership.
High Tech | Data driven play: Focus on automation; leverage Artificial Intelligence (AI), predictive tech, digital supply chain, voice tech, digital payments.
Many Indias | Regional play: Focus on customising operating model based on needs, preferences of different regions across India to better penetrate regional markets.
Alliances | Collaboration is key: Focus on creating partnerships/ alliances with other players, including unorganised retail to create one's own ecosystem and to penetrate the market, economically.
Gig | Flexible labour: Focus on leveraging gig platforms – flexible labour (day of week, time of day, location).
Multichannel | Be present everywhere: Focus on presence in both physical stores and online channels to serve all types of customer bases.
No frill | Low Cost Ops: Focus on providing bare minimum shopping experience and keeping costs at a minimum; can potentially leverage gig economy.
Process | Recovery scenario planning: Due to the uncertainty post-COVID, only one definitive recovery plan may prove insufficient. A scenario-based recovery plan and the strategies for each of the scenarios is needed for any disruptions in the future.
People | Agile and resilient organisation: Build innovative organisation and creative collaboration models with dedicated, cross-disciplinary teams to respond to problems in an agile way.
Technology | Big bets in Technology: Technology is going to drive purchase journeys going ahead. Retailers need to focus on an end-to-end digital presence from product discovery to post-purchase.
Also read: The road ahead for retail businesses
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Image source: shutterstock.com
Article source: STOrai Magazine. Adapted from RAI – BCG Report ‘Retail Resurgence in India: Leading in The New Reality’
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker.
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